EXHIBITION NEWS May 2017 - Page 53

COLUMN Special Ops Stuart Clarke, director of event operations at Freeman EMEA discusses the benefi ts of working as a cohesive on-site team Having a shared goal I ’ve been involved in the events industry for more than 20 years, and very early on I learned that teamwork is the key to the successful delivery of any show. When different departments within the one company work together, operations run like clockwork, and all aspects of the event come together perfectly. We’re all working towards the same goal of delivering a seamless experience for organisers, exhibitors and attendees, and I believe internal collaboration is where this all falls into place. This is why, at Freeman, we have very much moved away from a silo mentality over the past few years, by introducing a dedicated show site operations department and creating new systems, procedures and processes that make it easy for our various on-site teams to work together. The benefi ts of this approach are manifold, as you’ll see below. Consistently high quality delivery, every time By having a centralised team, you’re able to ensure there is a cohesive link across all on-site services, such as fabrication, graphics, fl oorcovering, shell scheme and transportation. We have a head of department for each service area, and they communicate information to their teams to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities, timings for show site and so forth. On top of that, the different heads and their team members communicate with one another on a day- to-day basis. This means everyone is on the same page, that there is accoun tability, and it ensures that each and every show is delivered to the same high standard. Maximising event build times By employing what I like to refer to as the ‘wave effect’ – a benefi t of the one team approach – we’re able to get the most out of the often tight build times that we’re required to adhere to. This is where, through regular communication and updates, we ensure there is a constant fl ow of labour coming through the venue. Once a particular team has fi nished their job function, another will immediately enter and begin their specialised tasks, which means there is no downtime or time wasted waiting for another team to come to show-site. This not only means that a show will open on time, it enhances employee health and safety. There is less of a need for teams to work overtime and thus become fatigued, as the issue of lost time is no longer as prominent. Streamlining the budgeting process If you operate as the one team it makes perfect sense to work towards the one event P&L. This not only works out as more cost-effective for the organiser; it provides an overall view of costing around an event. The organiser will then receive only one invoice, which includes allocations to the different service areas, saving them precious time, as there is no need to reconcile multiple invoices from the one company. A top-notch service for the exhibitor This ingrained teamwork approach brings benefi t to the exhibitor, too. If they have a question, they can approach someone from electrical for example, who will listen to their query and pass it on to the relevant department or employee. Coming back to the wave analogy I referred to earlier, once the event is largely built and the exhibitors are able to begin their set-up, the customer service team – or exhibitor services and their dedicated project co-ordinators as we refer to them at Freeman - continue this wave effect, making their way around to every exhibitor to ensure their needs are being met. If an exhibitor has a problem or requires any assistance, they will immediately contact a member of the relevant services team to ask for their assistance. The end result for the exhibitor is a show stopping brand presence, which will see them attract more attendees to their space. As you can see, creating the one, cohesive show-site team is a no-brainer. Not only is the quality of delivery consistently high, we’re able to manage our time incredibly accurately, so that the events not only look great, they open on time and without the need for our teams to work overtime. This approach also makes the event delivery more cost effective for the organiser, and it means exhibitors receive the best possible customer service. It’s the perfect formula if you’re looking to deliver meaningful and memorable events for attendees that drive results for exhibitors and organisers. exhibitionnews.co.uk | May 2017 53